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Parts of WC struck by paraffin shortage

The Energy department says technical problems at oil refineries are to blame for the shortages.

Paraffin is widely used as a domestic fuel in poor households. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Energy Department has confirmed paraffin shortages in parts of the Western Cape.

Reports today suggest some vendors are selling paraffin at an inflated price of up to R25 per litre because of short supply.

The department's Robert Maake says technical problems at oil refineries are to blame for the shortages.

"The shortage has been reported to the department by the major oil companies that supply paraffin, mainly because of technical problems at the refineries where the paraffin is produced."

Maake says anyone selling paraffin above the regulated price is breaking the laws.

Paraffin is widely used as a domestic fuel in poor households.

"A litre of paraffin costs R9.79 everywhere in the country. It's the national maximum retail price. So those guys that are selling above that price are not complying with the regulated price, which means they are breaking the law."